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MUSCAT, Oman (AFP) ─ Belgian cycling legend Eddy Merckx has added his support to Oman’s bid to host cycling’s annual world road race championships in 2015.
The Tour of Qatar and Tour of Oman have become attractive options during the month of February when many riders in the elite peloton begin fine-tuning their training schedules for the upcoming classics and one-week stage races.
Merckx, one of the organizers of the Tour of Oman, believes that by 2015 the Sultanate will have gained enough organizing experience to bring a solid bid to the table.
“Cycling is becoming more and more popular in the Middle East. The Tours of Qatar and Oman are gaining in popularity every year,” Merckx said on the sidelines of the race Sunday.
“From here to 2015, Oman will have the experience necessary to host the world championships.”
Quebec City in Canada and Richmond-Virginia in the United States are already in the running to host the 2015 world road race championships, whose big prize is the rainbow jersey.
Norwegian Thor Hushovd will aim to defend the world title he won in Australia last September at the 2011 championships in Copenhagen.